Powerful Sen. Chuck Schumer says immigration reform will be handled in a wholistic way, not bit by bit.

Chuck Schumer Nixes Piecemeal Plan for Immigration Reform

Senator Charles Schumer, a member of a bipartisan group crafting comprehensive U.S. immigration reform, urged technology firms on Tuesday to stop lobbying for a standalone bill on high-skilled immigrants, saying such narrow legislation would not pass.

“You will not get a bill unless there’s a full immigration bill,” the New York Democrat said at an event hosted by the Internet Alliance lobby group. “The best thing you can do now is not lobby on the high-skilled end.”

The U.S. Senate’s so-called “Gang of Eight” is drafting a bill to update U.S. immigration policy, hoping to tackle the fate of the 11 million illegal immigrants estimated to live in the United States.

One of the key aspects of such comprehensive reform is the challenge to revamp the rules for low-skilled foreign workers that is complicated by opposing powerful interests.

But many business groups and the technology sector in particular are more interested in updating the laws dealing with highly educated and skilled foreigners and a bill introduced in the House of Representatives earlier this year focused exclusively on that.

“The idea of just pushing your proposal is a very bad idea. … We’re going to need business to have some give on this,” Schumer said, urging the attendees to persuade the Chamber of Commerce and other business groups to back the efforts on lower-skilled immigration reform.

Schumer once again said he was “very optimistic” that the team could reach a deal on the legislation by the end of March.

“We’ll deal with your issue in a way that will make you happy,” he said. “You won’t get everything you want, but you’ll get almost everything you want.”

“You will not get a bill unless there’s a full immigration bill,” the New York Democrat said at an event hosted by the Internet Alliance lobby group. “The best thing you can do now is not lobby on the high-skilled end.”

The U.S. Senate’s so-called “Gang of Eight” is drafting a bill to update U.S. immigration policy, hoping to tackle the fate of the 11 million illegal immigrants estimated to live in the United States.

One of the key aspects of such comprehensive reform is the challenge to revamp the rules for low-skilled foreign workers that is complicated by opposing powerful interests.

But many business groups and the technology sector in particular are more interested in updating the laws dealing with highly educated and skilled foreigners and a bill introduced in the House of Representatives earlier this year focused exclusively on that.

“The idea of just pushing your proposal is a very bad idea. … We’re going to need business to have some give on this,” Schumer said, urging the attendees to persuade the Chamber of Commerce and other business groups to back the efforts on lower-skilled immigration reform.

Schumer once again said he was “very optimistic” that the team could reach a deal on the legislation by the end of March.

“We’ll deal with your issue in a way that will make you happy,” he said. “You won’t get everything you want, but you’ll get almost everything you want.”

Your Comments

The Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Forward requires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not and will be deleted. Egregious commenters will be banned from commenting. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and the Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.

Recommend this article

Chuck Schumer Nixes Piecemeal Plan for Immigration Reform

Thank you!

This article has been sent!

Close